AOL Advertising partnered with the consulting group Cheskin to conduct research to help marketers understand how and why Latinos use the internet in their daily lives. While 75% of Hispanic Dominants prefer information in Spanish, there is an overwhelming preference among Bicultural and US Dominants for marketing in English.
Currently marketers tend to divide Latinos into three different categories: Hispanic Dominant, Bicultural and US Dominant which can sometimes miss segments of the market. Messaging to Latinos has also been organized around acculturation and language. However, segmentation by life stage provides another way to understand the values and interests of Latinos, based on their preferences and behaviors. According to AOL, these life stages are not necessarily unique to their cultural background or acculturation level.
The following are some interesting facts pulled from the study:
‘«ů Both offline and online Latinos are much younger than the general population, with larger households and younger children. 46% of Online Latinos are under 35 years old, compared to just 28% of the US internet population. Meanwhile, 30% of the General Market online population are empty nesters ‘«Ű only 13% of Latinos fall into this group.
‘«ů To date, messaging for the Latino community has been organized around acculturation and language. While 75% of Hispanic Dominants prefer product marketing information in Spanish, there is an overwhelming preference among Bicultural and US Dominants for marketing in English.
‘«ů If we look at the language preference for websites by life stage, English marketing messages are favored by virtually all of the youngest Latino and most of the other market segments. This has important implications for marketers, who should always take into consideration their target segment's needs and passions before determining the appropriate language/media mix.
‘«ů In general, Latinos recognize the disparity between the availability of English and Spanish language content. They perceive English sites as more comprehensive, detailed and useful than Spanish language counterparts. This belief is prevalent across all levels of acculturation and life stages.
‘«ů Most Latino consume online media in English ‘«Ű even Hispanic Dominants. This reflects the greater availability of English language sites. This is not unexpected, as 27.6% of web content is created in English, with Chinese second at 22.1% and Spanish a distant third at 7.9%.
‘«ů One of the reasons why so many Latinos prefer English content is their mistrust of sites in Spanish, which often are little more than literal translations of English content. Only 3% of respondents found Spanish language sites more trustworthy and useful than those in English, leaving an important percentage of the Latino segment feeling underserved.
‘«ů Those who prefer Spanish marketing find that tailored content makes them feel closer to home. They also favor a meaningful transcreation over a literal translation of an English site.